Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding removal of debris dumped at Mithi river, Mumbai, Maharashtra, 15/04/2024

  • 15/04/2024

Order of the National Green Tribunal (Western Zone Bench, Pune) in the matter of Vanashakti & Others Vs Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Others dated 15/04/2024.

The matter related to removal of debris (construction and demolition waste) dumped at Mithi river, Mumbai.

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), February 28, 2024 filed the report of NEERI titled "“Assessment of the Environmental Damages due to debris dumped at Mithi River, Mumbai” and the project cost is recorded as Rs 75 lakhs + GST. The NGT through its previous order had directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) in coordination with the Collector, Mumbai suburban; Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department, Maharashtra; and the Chief Executive Engineer, Aarey Milk Colony.

However, the order could not be executed because of the responsibility being thrown one upon another by the MCGM and the Aarey authority. It is also not clear as to where the debris would be shifted and who will bear the cost. Aarey Milk Colony in its affidavit said that they do not have the manpower nor the resources to clear the debris at the site in question on their own, although it has been submitted that the area where the same has been thrown belongs to them.

In order to solve this impasse, as to where the debris would have to be shifted, if at all, it is required to be shifted and who will bear the expenses among others, the NGT directed constitution of a committee headed by the Chief Secretary, Maharashtra. The Committee was directed to visit the site, prepare time bound action plan and submit its report along-with documentation and photographs, after giving hearing to the applicants in order to have suggestions from them, within a period of one month, looking to the fact that the rainy season is about to ensue.